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Coronavirus / NHS staff to receive £500 bonus this month

The bonus was announce in recognition of those 'working at the sharpest end of the Covid trauma' Photo: Hans J Marter/Shetland News

NURSES, doctors and other NHS employees can expect to receive their share of a well-deserved £500 one-off bonus by the end of this month, while arrangements for social care staff are still being finalised.

On St Andrew’s Day last year 930 November), first minister Nicola Sturgeon announced the pro-rata payment for all “lifesavers and care givers” in recognition of those “working at the sharpest end of the Covid trauma.”

At the time the government said it had earmarked £180 million to be paid out to over 300,000 employees including nurses, porters, doctors, primary care staff, homecare workers, care home staff, hospice staff and residential child care staff.

The bonus was said to be paid out “as soon as is practicable” but so far this has not materialised.

This week, NHS Shetland confirmed after being asked by Shetland News that the £500 bonus (or its pro-rata value) will be paid “to all eligible staff” at the end of the month.

Social care staff employed by Shetland Islands Council could well have to wait a little longer though.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The final arrangements for social care providers to make this payment are still being discussed at a national level between COSLA and the Scottish Government.

“Shetland Islands Council is awaiting the guidance from the Scottish Government to implement these payments.”

Meanwhile the Scottish Government said social care staff should receive their bonus “at the earliest opportunity”

“The majority of NHS staff will receive the pro-rata £500 payment in their February pay, and we are working closely with Social Care providers to ensure payments are made at the earliest opportunity,” a government spokesperson said.

“We will provide all necessary funding and are working closely with NHS Boards and Local Authorities to establish their funding requirements.”

Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart said: “NHS and social care staff in Shetland have worked incredibly hard over the last 12 months. The announcement of a bonus was welcome at the time. Since that announcement the NHS has gone through another wave of the pandemic which in some cases superseded the first wave.

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“I hope we see some form of confirmation that this payment will be made sooner rather than later so we can start to act on showing the gratitude we have for those in the health and social care sector.”

The pro rata £500 bonus scheme, funded from the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 support package, applies to:

  • staff who have been active in the NHS since 17 March 2020 but who have since left NHS employment, including retirees;
  • staff who accepted and worked on temporary contracts since 17 March to aid pandemic response but who have since left NHS employment, including students who worked under temporary contracts but who have since returned to university;
  • staff covered by the Two Tier Agreement;
  • General Practitioners and their practice teams, including 2C practices;
  • Staff providing NHS services under independent contractor arrangements including:
    • GP surgery staff
    • NHS dental surgery staff
    • NHS pharmacy services staff
    • NHS optometry staff
  • Staff working in adult social care including:
    • care home staff
    • home care staff
    • palliative care/hospice staff
    • adult personal assistants
    • social care staff in residential child care settings
    • social workers (including those working with children and families and in criminal justice

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